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Pauri 4 Japji Sahib - Pauri 4

Discussion in 'Jup Banee' started by Tejwant Singh, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Mentor Writer SPNer Thinker

    Jun 30, 2004
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    Pauri 1

    1.Sochai soch na howee je sochi Iakhwar. Chupal chup na howee je lai rahan livetar. Bhukhian bhukh na utree je banna puria bhar. Sehas sianpa Iakh hoeh ta ek na chalay nal. Kiv sachiara hoiyai kiv kurai tutai pal. Hukam rajaee chalana Nanak Iikhya naL

    I would like to expand a bit more on this. There have been a lot of different interpretations of this pauri by different sikh scholars which becomes a bit more confusing rather than putting a light of clarity on it.

    Maskeen ji, Professor Sahib Singh ji and some others take SOCH as SuCH ( purifying by bathing in 'holy waters'. Bhai Manmohan singh ji, Yogi Bhajan, Rajneesh, Master Teja Singh and others take SOCH has THOUGHT PROCESS.

    I tend to agree more with the formers than with the latters .

    I would like to think aloud, if I may, with the SADH SANGAT regarding this.

    There were 4 main schools of thought at the time of Guru Nanak.

    1.Sochai soch na howee je sochi Iakhvaar.
    a. Bathing in 'holy waters' to cleanse one's sins.
    Thinking hundreds of times as many scholars have mentioned.​

    2.Chupei chup na howee je lai rahan livetar.
    b.Mon Vrat- this school of thought insisited on not talking at all. (I wish my kids could learn that j/k.)

    They failed to understand that one can not quieten the tempest within.

    3. Bhukhian bhukh na utree jei bannah puria bhar.
    c. One can try to quench one's hunger from all aspects, meaning food, lust etc etc. By doing so one hopefully will come to the conclusion of 'been there, done that' and will cease doing things impulsively.

    However Master Teja Singh's interprets the above as fasting, that is restraint like #2 which seems repetitive.

    4. Sehas sianpa Iakh hoeh ta ek na chalay nal.
    d.Having a cunning nature is of no use. We call them 'confidence tricksters'.

    However Master Teja Singh and many others have interpreted the above as:-

    Thousands of 'intellectual flights' cannot take one to the Realm of Truth (True wisdom or realization of the Divine within).

    I would like to expand on this a bit more.

    Cunning nature needs thought process. One can not con anyone without planning for it. Hence being 'smarter and holier than thou' needs a lot of thinking which again becomes repetitve if we interpret the first verse SOCH as thought process rather than SuCH meaning to purify mainly by water.

    One of the more important things to notice is that 'thought process' is a singular collective noun. One can think about the same many times but one can not have mutiple thought processes for the same, the way it is mentioned in the verse number one.

    I have no idea why the sikh scholars take the word 'intellect' as MANMAT when they are using the same to understand GURBANI??!!

    Intellect is used in many different ways in GURBANI.

    In japji we read, 'Gaviei, Suniey, munn rakhiey bhao'

    In anand we read, ' eh munn mereiyah, tun sadah roh HAR nalei'

    In Rehras we read, 'tin kavan khalaavai kavan chugaavai munn mein simran kariyah.

    And many more that talk about munn which requires intellect.

    We all know Guru Nanak Dev ji and all other Gurus, the founders of this beautiful way of Gurmat life have always been precise -to the point- in whatever they wrote as Gurbani. They re-emphasised the same thought process by giving different examples but they never repeated themselves in the same verse.

    My 2 cent worth.

    Bhul Chuk Maaf.

    Peace and Love


    PS..I would like to know others' point of view on this as well.
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  3. CaramelChocolate

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    Jul 13, 2004
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    I wish I could help but I am not a Punjabi speaker. :(
  4. Arvind

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    SPNer Thinker Supporter

    Jul 13, 2004
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    For broader audience, we should also provide meaning of the tuk (Gurubani).

    Big risk then: There is always a danger of misinterpretation in that. What do you feel if we pick up the aquarian writings of Guru ji from our American sikh fraternity - Just a suggestion
  5. Amarpal

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    Mentor Writer SPNer Thinker

    Jun 11, 2004
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    Dear VaheguruSeekr Jee,

    I will consolidate my thinking on Pauri 1 of japji Sahib and share with you all soon.

    With Love and Respect for all.

  6. OP
    Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Mentor Writer SPNer Thinker

    Jun 30, 2004
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    Dear Amarpal ji,

    Thanks for your very interesting insight. I take Gurbani as a prism with many angles and it is always refreshing to see the same prism from someone else's angle which doesnot contradict Gurmat but compliments it.

    Peace & Love

  7. japjisahib04

    japjisahib04 Kuwait
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    Mentor SPNer Thinker

    Jan 22, 2005
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    Re: Japji Pauri 1

    Dear Tejwantji

    The gist of Japji can be understood properly only in the background of the religions that were practiced when Guru Nanak appeared on the scene. Hindus and Muslims were then two major mutually-opposing faiths, each group claiming to be the follower of the true faith and the other as nonbeliever. And followers of Guru Nanak belonged to these religions only.

    Soache soach na hoav-ee jey soachee lakh vaar
    With purifying outwardly or bathing, Even if cleansed hundred thousand times, Purge of mind shall result not.

    Chupai chup na hoav-ee je laa-ey raha leev taar
    Even if ‘avowed silence’, I should observe, And without cease or stop do keep reserve, Mind settles not in His thought. (As mind quietly slips and make concentration on thousands other dilemma.)

    Bhukhiya bhukh na uttari jey banna puriyah bhaar
    Even though I should from food taking abstain, By power so-got, world-loads of wealth obtain, Hunger of mind shall appease not, hence it is not the means to break the wall of falsehood.

    Sehas siyanpa lakh ho-hey ta ik na chaleh naal

    Mere intellectual expositions of Him, Thousands, hundred thousands of them, Being ego-based, would all fall short; Not one would help us to realize God.

    Keev sachiayra hoa-ee-ai keev kureh tuteh paal

    How shall then we attain the Truth? How to crash the wall of untruth that debars our realization of God?

    Hukam rajaiyee chalna Nanak leekhya naal

    (The wonderful reply is) – Nanak, in abiding by the Will of God, That He has inscribed in every heart, We meet the Ordaining Formless God.

    In this stanza – I, as per my understanding Guru Nanak is denouncing the observance of four popular beliefs and means which were prevalent during his ministry and were being sincerely practiced to become truthful and instead proclaims importance of Purity, Silence, Contentment and righteous knowledge of mind. Certain people translate the meaning of ‘sauch’ as thinking. But it is my research and understanding that in order to become truthful with a feeling of belonging to the Absolute, I find no evidence that thinking was a mean adopted by certain people during that time or even today.

    When all above means cannot lead us to swim across and cannot break the wall of falsehood, Guru Nanak raises A Million-Dollar Question regarding the method to crash the wall of falsehood and achieve Truth by chanting. Then he himself answers that the mankind can achieve this Himalayan goal by surrendering himself before the Hukam- Divine Order. The important key to live under the Will of God is Willingness. It unlocks the door, which then opens itself.

    Now where this law is written. Being generous he said this Hukam is already ingrained in us. Since this Hukam is already ingrained in each human being, there he makes it clear, it is not for chosen people, but instead, it is the Hukam of the entire humanity. Therefore, this Hukam is not conditional to Scholars, saints, ascetic, monis, or who have access to rivers or himalaya and is not subject to any religion, caste, color, creed or ayat or scripture. And he tells us this law is not written somewhere in the so-called heaven, where the thing is there itself the law is in the print. Gurbani tells us the only way to surrender, ““aap gvaeiyeh ta sau paeyeh – unless we kill our haume, we cannot be truthful or have sense of belonging to Him.” - Guru Granth ang.722.13. For example law of Fire is heat, Light is the nature of Sun, law of Sugar is that it is sweet, law of Earth is in gravity. If we use fire intelligently it blesses us and then we do not have to worry for anything, we are at peace. Therefore, in short each one of us is here because of our own desire; our own actions and the results of our own past action. Our future would be shadow of our present deeds. It is no accident whether we are born as a man or a woman.

    Human beings had been given the intelligence; he manipulates everything, has expectation etc. Revolts against everything and thus is never at peace and questions why this happens, it is because of his ego. This I, I and I are the doer and this is, what separates us from the truth and the reality. And this law is written in every object of the world. If we know only to observe we will know how to act and behave in this world. However, if we do not know, Guru Granth Sahib has pointed out to us how to live. Follow them intelligently not blindly. One has to understand these laws and exploit them for the benefit and welfare of the humanity. This is the philosophy of Guru Nanak. Gurbani tells us, “ hukam maniye hovai parvan ta khasmai ka mahal paiesi -by obeying the Order of His Command, one becomes acceptable, and then, he obtains the Mansion of the God’s Presence.” – Guru Granth ang.471.13.

    Now I elaborate the meaning of first line ‘Sochai .. as per my understanding. Ancient Rishis believed that by taking bath in 68 holy places of pilgrimage the devotee could achieve salvation. Not that any of these things are useless they are all helpful, but they are only a mean and also they are not direct means. Physically bathing three times a day or even going and having bath in holy place, no doubt have their significance but by only having these baths one does not reach the reality or get a sense of belonging to Him. Guru Nanak was very soft spoken. He said it very firmly but he said it very gently too that, “ sauch karai dins aur raat man ki mail na tan tai jaat - one can wash the body by the water but not the mind even we bath day and night”. - Guru Granth ang.265.17. He again said, “ mal haumai dhauti kivai na utrai jai sau tirth nae - by no means is this dirt of ego washed off, even though one may have ablution at hundreds of places of pilgrimage.”- Guru Granth ang.39.6. But Kabir was harsh, thus questioned, “ jal kai majan jai ghat hovai nit nit maindhak navai, jaisai mindhak taisai oey nar phir phir jauni aavai - if liberation from wheel of rebirth can be obtained by bathing in water, then what about the frog that baths ever and ever in water. As is the frog so is the mankind (taking bathing in places of pilgrimage); he comes and goes repeatedly.” - Guru Granth ang.484.16. A question arises up here when Guru Nanak has questioned the legitimacy of pilgrimages and bathe in rivers and ponds, but still Guru Sahib sanctified and constructed sarovars and boulees. To an ordinary eye this may look like hypocrisy. But again we have to understand the lesson we are taught. There were places where people were not allowed to bathe together because of their different social status; and here the Gurus invited all to come and bathe in the same pond, irrespective of their social class. This is the highest level of equality that the Gurus bestowed upon society at that time. Further they were built in order to accommodate large number of devotees coming from different parts of country to pay their respect and are not the means to merge and or near to spirituality. In addition to this water is believed to absorb the vibration of prayer. We know water has its own importance and accepts all colors and spirit. Guru Nanak says when one recites His Name, waves of chant of baani immediately get immersed in water as, “ vich baani amrit saarai - within the baani (the Word) Ambrosial Nectar is contained.” - Guru Granth ang.982.10 thus when ‘Panj Piyare’ the five beloved recite five baanis, water near them transforms into holy water (Amrit) i.e. Gurmat wherever established pilgrimage has supplemented keertan (singing glorious hymns) with water hence ponds were installed around Gurudwaras. But any such `water-place' is not there for the worship of itself as such but as a mean to worship God Al mighty. It has got nothing to do with spirituality. Why such a water- place is needed? One cannot be more explicit and precise than Shri Guru Arjan who says, “kar ishnan simar prabh aapna man tan bhay arogha - after taking bath, remember God in meditation, thus soul and filth of body will be washed off and shall be free of sufferings.” - Guru Granth ang.611.11. It is only devotion and devotion to God is Ganga and that firm devotion is purifying, but warned, “such vin soach na hoey - without inner purity, there is no understanding.” - Guru Granth ang.903.3. Spiritual stature is judged not from the external mode of behavior but from the sincerity and earnestness of the inner self. Secondly, in this hymn of Guru Nanak, the word Isnan does not at all refer to any ritual ‘bathing’. Separately, the Guruji writes, “One who bathes himself in Naam becomes purified of the dirt of evil” and again, “Why go to bathe at the Tirath, for Tirath is Naam.” In other word one can reach TRUTH, i.e. God, ONLY IF ONE HAS PURITY AT HEART.

    Similarly Guru Nanak didn’t agree with another belief prevalent at that time that by remaining silent one can achieve inner peace of mind and obtain Divine Knowledge. He said all the organs showered on us are His great gifts and there is reason behind it. Shutting one of the organs of body is like defying nature and may led to death. Those who did not have faith on their tongue spread around this ritual. Their belief was that to speak too much and to babble is useless and that our entire problem in life starts with speaking uselessly. They further added that by speaking and only speaking, corruption of thoughts increases. But Guru Nanak says by merely sitting back and not doing any action is not the solution, it only creates suppression whereas your mind keeps on rattling on thousands other problem whereas physically you are quite. Guru Nanak said by speaking one receives the honor and by speaking only one chant His Name. Besides where there is no speech, there, the mind rests on nothing. Guru Nanak said if keeping silent was the answer to break the wall of falsehood then vegetation e.g. all plants, many kind of worms, who remain silent but have life would have obtained Divine Knowledge and would have merged into Him.
    Likewise Guru Nanak didn't agree with the third ritual spread out by the ‘Vam Margi’ that when appetite of mind is quenched then only one should go for meditation and realize God. He said it is wrong even to think that appetite for hunger of status, greatness, commendation, money, and beauty could ever be quenched even by piling up loads of worldly riches of countless worlds, as hunger of mind is wealth and beauty which is limitless and is insatiable, and thus the desire of the hunger to meet God remains a dream. He said it is very natural the more you fulfill your desires, the more it multiply, “shs Kty lK kau auiT DwvY ] - after earning thousand, one runs after a hundred thousand and similarly more one sees the beauty, the more one is attracted thus one does not get satisfied with any amount of wealth and beauty.” - Guru Granth ang.278.19. (Many believe as a result of this theory, places of worship were established under the name of religion depicting dances, sculptures of nude and semi nude forms, which later on lead to some extent, into sinful practices.)

    Similarly Guru Nanak didn’t agree with the fourth ritual and said the ultimate truth cannot be found by reasoning thus just knowledge is of no avail, as this will not save us from the clutches of death. Gurbani tells us, “miq buiD BvI n buJeI AMqir loB ivkwru] -one intellect cannot understand the path to merge back into Him when ones thoughts are filled with greed and endless desires. Thus, just knowledge which gives rise to egotism is useless.” - Guru Granth ang.27.6. Or the wisdom, which does not break the vicious circle of ‘vikars’, is not wisdom. He further says, “piVAw mUrKu AwKIAY ijsu lbu loBu AhMkwrw ] - that scholar who is full of greed, arrogant, pride and egotist, is known to be a fool”, as Rawan who was a learned scholar of his time and a great philosopher of Vedas and puranas, his literacy made him arrogant rather than humble, causing him to impose his views on others at the point of a gun. Whereas function of knowledgeable person by practicing the right knowledge is to be polite, compassionate, gentle, balanced and detached, helpful and thus a better human being. Thus Guru Nanak rejects this theory too and says,sMjm shs isAwxpw ipAwry iek n clI nwil ] - we may indulge in thousands of intelligent games and techniques of austere self-discipline, O Beloved, but not even one of them will go with us or will break the wall of falsehood.” - Guru Granth ang.641.8. Knowledge does not mean eloquent discourses. It is where our ego is totally dissolved in the final experience of oneness that alone has been called by Guru Nanak as right knowledge. Again Guru Nanak repeats in Guru Granth Sahib, “byd kqyb isimRiq siB swsq ien@ piVAw mukiq n hoeI ] eyku AKru jo gurmuiK jwpY iqs kI inrml soeI ] - one may read all the books of the Vedas, the Bible, the Simritees and the Shaastras, but that will not bring liberation from wheel of re-incarnation. On the contrary one, who, as Gurmukh, chants the One Word – Name of God, acquires a spotlessly pure reputation and merges into God.” - Guru Granth ang.747.18. So what was intended was not the external gathering of knowledge or external show of strength but internal change of attitudes, since the Lord's kingdom is within. In fact, the most illiterate people can be more closer to the Guru's teachings through their love and piety than the highly qualified scholars or scientists who make bold claims without even plunging into the deeper layers of Gurbani. There is a clear message in Gurbani, “wisdom which leads to argument is not wisdom.” - Guru Granth ang.1245.5. So disapproving the aforesaid traditional four practices for achieving liberation from the cycle of births and deaths.
    In addition to above four means a brief note regarding the forms of other rituals and confusion shall be quite useful here. Since the animal-man evolved to become human-man, he realized, “Avr join qyrI pinhwrI ] iesu DrqI mih qyrI iskdwrI ] - other creatures can be your water-carriers in this world, and upon this earth you are a commander.”- Guru Granth ang.374.5. Mankind realized life is not just to be lived like animals, i.e. to eat, grow, produce children, get old, complete the biological cycle and die. This thought led to the revelation that he, as human, has a Spiritual mission to achieve in his life. He sensed he has been provided with unique faculties to command a special status on this earth; therefore he has been in search of the Almighty God, who created him and placed him in this environment. He to realize the ultimate truth and internal happiness adopted many Spiritual practices, paths. For this, mankind submitted himself to many kinds of tortures, sufferings, and privations, which has been referred in Gurbani like this, “Aink pRkwr kIey bhu jqnw ] puMn dwn homy bhu rqnw ] srIru ktwie homY kir rwqI ] vrq nym krY bhu BwqI ] - the performance of all sorts of works; donations to charities and offerings of jewels to fire; cutting the body into piece by piece and producing the pieces into ceremonial fire offerings; keeping fasts, and making vows of all sorts.” - Guru Granth ang.265.12. In order to merge with God, he renounced the family life, discarded all his belongings, even bared his body, ate very sparingly, applied ‘tilak’ and lived in forest, hills, etc. His mission was to realize the Creator omniscient and the omnipotent God.

    Many wanted to get rid of their suffering and problems of this life and enjoy the bliss of association with God and in the next life forever. In certain paths, the destination is far and tedious. Ritualistic Toey tibbey, traps, fear. Actually along certain paths, the destination is not even clear. This way, “Brmy BUlw bhuqI rwhI ] - deluded by doubt, he wanders off on many paths.” - Guru Granth ang.372.17. In that confusion some even started worshipping idol, others dead, mausoleum, time/space or weather elements as god. Some believed drinking cows urine is pious as ‘Amrit’ or relish animal feces. Some believed by wearing symbols they are true to their religion. Not only this some believed He resides in south other in west and worship accordingly. He blowed conch-shells, and rang the bells. Moreover as Gurbani describes, “ieik KVy krih qyrI cwkrI - some stand and serve you.” - Guru Granth ang.139.7. Guru Nanak's religion is the religion of Naam, real spirituality, not symbolism and as such there is no room for all above confusions and ritual.
    Regards Sahni Mohinder
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